Kate Beckinsale, Before and After

The beauty evolution of the British actress and 'Underworld' star.
Michelle Villett
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The beauty evolution of the British actress and 'Underworld' star.

The subject of today's Before and After has been famous for as long as I can remember.

Now (a very gorgeous) 41 years old, British-born Kate Beckinsale got her start way back in the early '90s with acclaimed TV roles in 'Cold Comfort Farm' and 'Emma', as well the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

But it wasn't until she starred alongside Claire Danes in 1999's 'Brokedown Palace' that Kate became a household name here in North America—and big-budget movies like 'Pearl Harbor', 'Serendipity' and 'The Aviator' soon followed.

These days, Kate is more known for her recent work in the 'Underworld' series, but she's still a red carpet fixture... which leads us to our task today. In her rise to A-list name recognition, how has Kate's beauty look changed along the way?

Here's the side-by-side:

Kate Beckinsale before and after

Kate Beckinsale, in 1995 (left) and 2013 (right).

Now, let's examine her beauty evolution. First up, a photo shoot from 1992, when Kate was just 19 years old. 

Kate Beckinsale, 1992

Kate Beckinsale in 1992.

Who knew she had such a mane of hair on her? It's also really nice to see such a natural, un-styled version of Kate—since now she's always so über-groomed.

The next shot is from the promos for 'Much Ado About Nothing' a year later:

Kate Beckinsale, Much Ado About Nothing promo, 1993

Kate Beckinsale in a promotional photo for 'Much Ado About Nothing' in 1993.

Just look at this English rose beauty. (She always did have amazing skin, I see.) Take note of her nose, by the way—as it's one feature I definitely think has changed over the years.

In 1995 (age 22), she starred in another Brit period piece, 'Cold Comfort Farm':

Kate Beckinsale, Cold Comfort Farm promo, 1995

Kate Beckinsale in a promotional photo for 'Cold Comfort Farm' in 1995.

I suppose nobody would look their best in this hairdo.

The same year, Kate lightened and cropped her hair into this inexplicably bad shaggy style:

Kate Beckinsale, Sweetheart press conference, 1995

Kate Beckinsale at the press conference for 'Sweetheart' in 1995.

Even still, she's quite cute. I'm getting a bit of a Winona vibe here. Also: how much do you want to bet she wishes she had these eyebrows now? Don't pluck your brows, kids.  

Now get ready for some WTF-ery, because Kate went through a sort of Goth phase for a couple years:

Kate Beckinsale, Emma premiere, 1996

Kate Beckinsale at the premiere of 'Emma' in 1996.

I'm fine with the super-short hair; it's the powdered white face that I'm concerned about. 

I guess she was quite into it, as it persisted through 1997 as well:

Kate Beckinsale, Shooting Fish premiere, 1997

Kate Beckinsale at the premiere of 'Shooting Fish' in 1997.

What is happening here? She looks like a reject from The Cure. As if the white powder weren't bad enough, she's accented it with baby blue eyeshadow, butterfly clips and stringy strands covering her face. Notice her smile, which is quite gummy and a bit stained-looking (Kate's apparently a life-long smoker).

Fortunately, by 1998, she was embracing a more natural skin finish—though the clips were still hanging around:

Kate Beckinsale, FilmFour launch, 1998

Kate Beckinsale at a FilmFour launch in 1998.

Kate was pregnant here (with Michael Sheen's baby), and she really is glowing. Brows and roots are seriously unfortunate, but her nose looks a little more button-like. Did she have a nose job at some point around this time?

Three years later, in 2001, Kate's star was rising big-time and you can totally tell here:

Kate Beckinsale, Serendipity screening, 2001

Kate Beckinsale at a screening of 'Serendipity' in 2001.

She's become much more glam and "Hollywood-looking" all of a sudden. I think you can chalk it up to several changes: the faux tan, the glossy solid-coloured hair, the sophisticated makeup and most of all, the whiter/straighter teeth. I believe she got veneers, and probably had a laser gum reshaping as well. (I've had the gum thing too—it's an AMAZING procedure.) Teeth make a huge difference!

In 2003 (age 30), Kate succumbed to the streaky highlight trend:

Kate Beckinsale, Underworld premiere, 2003

Kate Beckinsale at the LA premiere of 'Underworld' in 2003.

Looking back now, this hair seems sooo dated! There could not be a more perfect example to illustrate why I prefer solid, all-over colour to highlights. Fortunately, her brows are making a nice recovery from the over-plucking. Also check out her nose here—again, it's very button-like versus the old days.

By 2004, Kate's transformation to a California girl was pretty much complete:

Kate Beckinsale, MTV Movie Awards, 2004

Kate Beckinsale at the MTV Movie Awards in 2004.

At least she ditched the high-contrast highlights... even though I'm not a fan of this lighter colour on her.

Two years later, in 2006 (age 33), Kate had finally hit her beauty stride:

Kate Beckinsale, Underworld Evolution premiere, 2006

Kate Beckinsale at the premiere of 'Underworld: Evolution' in 2006.

I think she looks absolutely incredible with her hair up, and in the darker chestnut colour. THIS is Kate's "Life Hair" (not "Life Cut", since it's not really a cut). Problem is, the eyebrows seem to be skinnier again; not sure why.

Kate showed off another great updo in 2008:

Kate Beckinsale, Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, 2008

Kate Beckinsale at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards in 2008.

Will you look at her skin? And she has a beautiful hairline, too. I think this might've been when the injectables started, as her cheeks look a tiny bit plumped and her forehead is incredibly smooth.

I think you can definitely see the cheek fillers here, in 2011:

Kate Beckinsale, LACMA's Art and Film Gala, 2011

Kate Beckinsale at LACMA's Art + Film Gala in 2011.

By this time, Kate was 38 years old, so it makes sense that she'd be dabbling in this stuff. What I'm wondering is if she had some put in her lips as well...

She's still looking great in 2013, age 40:

Kate Beckinsale, Star Trek Into Darkness premiere, 2013

Kate Beckinsale at the premiere of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' in 2013.

Although this makeup is cool, I think it's maybe a little bit aging versus the fresh-faced look she wore in 2008. Also, her cheeks are protruding a bit too much.

I love this next shot, also from 2013:

Kate Beckinsale, LACMA's Art and Film Gala, 2013

Kate Beckinsale at LACMA's Art + Film Gala in 2013.

Maybe the fillers just needed to settle down a bit? She looks more natural here, and her skin is super-radiant and glowy. The whole look is very glam and "done"; it reminds me very much of Megan Fox's vibe (post-filler experiments, of course).

The last shot is Kate's most recent appearance, at this year's Toronto International Film Festival:

Kate Beckinsale, The Face of an Angel premiere, 2014

Kate Beckinsale at the premiere of 'The Face of an Angel' in 2014.

I'm really not feeling this wavy off-the-face hairstyle nor the lighter colour... and again, her cheeks seem a little puffy? But I do like the low-key makeup on her. Woman is 41 and still very much a beauty. 

The Bottom Line

There's been speculation that Kate's "had work done," but she's neither confirmed nor denied. A good strategy, I think—since it's so hypocritical when they denounce such things a la Nicole Kidman. Personally, I've always thought she was an incredibly beautiful woman, and would have been even if she'd kept her nose exactly the same. Sure, her fillers could be dialed back a bit, but I don't think she's gone to the extremes like many of her peers.

As for the improvements to her smile, well, they're the entire reason I wanted to do a Before and After on Kate in the first place! She was one of the celebs I researched before I had my own laser gum reshaping done a few years back—and I think her new gumline and veneers are the very BEST part of her transformation, considering she had so much staining from smoking. Who wouldn't want a whiter, brighter and more even-looking smile? 

Have Your Say

How do you feel about Kate Beckinsale's beauty evolution? Which of these looks is your favourite? What "beauty work" do you think she's had done?